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Pain, experienced in the lumbar area, is generally referred to as lower back pain. This kind of back pain may happen due to a variety of reasons including hereditary conditions as well as accidents and sports injuries. These pain generally leave your body in a state of chronic pain, depending on the area that was affected. This lumbar area is a complex of joints, nerves, ligaments and muscles which go towards providing support and posture to the human body. Here are the various ways in which you can deal with lower back pain-
- Heat and Ice Therapy: One of the most recommended forms of treatment includes heat and ice therapy. You can use a warm bath or a heat compress and heating pad to soothe the area and bring down the pain. Ice packs can be used for inflammation and swelling. While the previous method can be used for chronic pain, the latter can be used for acute pain and more recent accidents. These methods are known to increase the blood flow to the affected area and hence bring much relief when there is pain and stiffness.
- Choose your Activity with Caution: There are a number of activities that one can carry out even when you are suffering from lower back pain. Mild to moderate exercise that has been approved by your physician can help in soothing the area. The trick in such cases to move at frequent intervals so that stiffness and further pain does not set in. You can embark on walks and even water exercises that will help in soothing the stiff muscles. Having said that, one must remember to avoid exercises that will involve bending and standing for too long as this can aggravate the pain.
- Rest: It is essential to sleep in the correct position and get the best amount of rest so that the muscles and joints of this area can get the required comfort and rest before being put to work again. Yet, too much inactivity is also not recommended in such cases, and hence one must not rest for too many days at a time. Further, it is important to rest in the correct position so that the lumbar area does not twist and there is no pressure on the same. It would be best to lie down on the back without crossing the ankles.
- Pain Medication: You can get a prescription for pain medication in case the pain is unbearable. It would be advisable to take medication after consultation with a doctor. One can have oral medicines or take topical application gels and ointments that will numb the area. One can have ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin and other such medicines to get relief from the pain.
Interventional pain management
Finding the right relief can be tough for patients living with chronic pain. It involves a lot of trial and error to find the therapy that works for you. The Interventional Pain Management is one therapy that is aimed to reduce your pain, as well as provide options for preventing pain in the future. It adopts a comprehensive and holistic look to treat pain with lesser risk and morbidity when compared with surgical interventions.
Benefits of interventional pain management
- Surgery cannot be a solution to every health problem, the minimally invasive procedures of interventional pain management are cost-effective
- Lower risk for infections and complications
- Lower recovery time as they don’t employ large incisions or anesthesia
- It identifies the source of pain and comes up with the right solution to alleviate pain
Types of interventional pain management
- Epidural Steroid Injections: The prime aim of these injections is to identify the site of pain and reduce inflammation in the nerve roots as they exit the spine. A local anesthesia is administered and a steroid is injected into the epidural space. More than one injection is needed until there is a significant reduction in pain.
- Facet Joint Injection and Medical Branch Blocks: This technique helps the patient to manage and tolerate their pain better. A steroid is directly injected into the facet joint to reduce pain. Medical branch blocks target i.e. the nerve that detects the painful sensation and sends messages to the brain. These blocks help further denervation procedure and provide long term relief.
- Sacroiliac Injections: These injections are administered directly on the sacroiliac joint of the spine which is the cause of lower back pain.
- Peripheral Joint Injections: Joints like shoulder, knee and hip are injected with medicines that aim to reduce painful inflammation at the source of joint dysfunction.
- Radio frequency Ablation: This involves the use of radio waves to create an electrical current that delivers heat to the targeted nerve tissues. It results in the impairment of the nerves to transmit pain signals to the brain
- Rhizotomy: This is another procedure where the pain signals are turned off. Heated electrodes are applied to the specific nerves to cut off the transmission.
- Spinal Cord Stimulation: This uses electrical impulses to block pain from being perceived by the brain
- Nucleoplasty: This is a procedure in which a which tissue is removed from the disc of the spinal cord to decompress and relieve pressure
- Intrathecal Pump Implantation: A pain pump is placed under the skin that directly delivers pain medication to the targeted area.
These are some of the procedures of interventional pain management that aim to reduce pain, without the need of surgery or other conservative pain medications. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Pain Management Specialist.